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Someone asked us: I was told by a friend that I cannot be trans and nonbinary at the same time. I thought trans was an umbrella term that also includes nonbinary people. Can’t I be both

You’re the only person who gets to decide how you identify, and there’s no right or wrong way to be trans and/or nonbinary. Let’s explore what these labels mean.

  • Being transgender means your gender is different from the “male” or “female” designation on your original birth certificate. Transgender boys and men were often assigned female at birth (AFAB) and raised as girls. Transgender girls and women were often assigned male at birth (AMAB) and raised as boys.
  • Being nonbinary means your gender doesn’t fit into the strict male-or-female gender binary. You might identify as nonbinary if your gender falls somewhere between male and female, or if your gender doesn’t quite fit into either of those categories. Nonbinary people may also identify differently depending on the day and how they feel — they may identify as a woman one day, a man the next, and nonbinary or genderqueer on others. Some people say they’re nonbinary to keep a conversation short and simple — and add their other identities when they want to share more. Nonbinary can also be used as a general term to mean “not cisgender.”

Long story short: It’s up to you how you identify (and what you tell people about that identity). If you feel gender euphoria when you tell others you’re transgender and nonbinary, say it! You might also want to experiment with which label you want to say first. For example, someone who transitioned and sees their transness as outside the gender binary might feel best saying they’re a nonbinary trans woman or nonbinary trans man. 

Check out our tips on figuring out your gender identity and what language to use.

Tags: gender identity terms, gender labels, what to call myself